Pape out to take his chance
Recalled lock keen to make up for World Cup omission
By Tony Curtis. Last Updated: 14/02/08 4:38pm
Pape: Back for Les Bleus
Recalled France lock Pascal Pape is determined to make up for the World Cup heartbreak after returning to the national side.
The 27-year-old was a surprise omission from France's 30-man squad for the tournament - with Pape struggling to cope with the snub.
However, Pape has already proved he is back to his best after a storming start to the season with Stade Francais - and his form has seen him named in new coach Marc Lievremont's squad to take on England.
And Pape is in no mood to the let this opportunity pass him by.
He said: "It wasn't a lot of fun [missing the World Cup].
"My career objective vanished in a matter of days and it was difficult to take.
"For four years, I was a regular in the France squad, and then that. It was a failure and it remains so, even if I have moved on to other things now.
"But I have a great desire. When you have had a taste, it is like a drug - it is difficult to be deprived of it. For me, this is almost like winning my first cap again."
Pape believes that he owes his summer switch from Castes to Stade Francais for his recall to Les Bleus.
He said: "I owe a lot to my club.
"I was lucky to be able to change clubs in between seasons. By coming to Paris, I could focus my energy on something other than my disappointment at not being selected for the World Cup.
"I could fix new objectives for myself and digest everything that had happened. I had a challenge ahead because I was taking over from David Auradou and Mike James, players I have a lot of respect for."